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Wisconsin football recruiting: DE/OLB Nate Howard commits to Badgers

You know the sleeper who's had his name whispered in recruiting circles this week? He's a Badger now.

In a weekend filled with big recruiting news, this may turn out to be the biggest. Wednesday, Saint Louis (Ladue Horton Watkins) defensive end Nate Howard was an unknown. No profiles on any of the major recruiting sites, though there were some offers from Illinois and Syracuse. By all definition, he was a big-time sleeper.

A big-time sleeper with a lethal first step on his Hudl profile, but a big-time sleeper just the same.

Sunday, Howard became the Badgers' 12th commit to the class of 2015, joining Chris Orr and Sam Madden as campers to make a commitment. Howard is the sixth recruit to commit to the Badgers in the past nine days and he definitely has the potential to make an early impact when he comes to Madison next season. As a junior defensive end, he recorded 70 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and forced four fumbles.

He also received a scholarship offer from Oklahoma this weekend, but that was too late.

As it is, this likely leaves one remaining spot for a linebacker. Expect the Badgers to work down their board starting with Utah linebackers Osa Masina and Porter Gustin. But as it goes, the linebacker cupboard is a lot more full than it was a week ago.